So many things divide us.
Oh, I know, what a hot take. We’re divided? No way.
How often do we think this is OK, though? How often do we think, “Well, we disagree on something, and it makes us dislike each other,” and we just move on?
I admit that I’ve felt that way recently. There are brothers and sisters in Christ of mine with whom I have differences of opinion, and I really don’t feel like talking to them. I really don’t want to, have no desire to.
When I look at what Jesus says about unity and togetherness, my attitude is completely against His intention.
In our Lord’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane in John 17, we see that Jesus’ intention for us is to be united, no matter what, because that’s how we show others He’s real. Verses 20-23:
I do not ask for these [his disciples] only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
In college, I heard several stories of some older friends of mine and how they came to Christ because they saw the way Christians loved one another and interacted with one another. They saw a community they wanted to be a part of, a family they wanted to join. So they investigated Jesus and saw He was what made those Christians different, what made them the way they were. It led to their salvation.
That’s a practical application of those underlined words in what Jesus said in the “high priestly prayer” in the Garden of Gethsemane. People believed in Jesus because of the community of believers.
Can we recapture that now? Is the church of America too far beyond that? It’s better to be together than win an argument. It always is. We can disagree on things and still love one another.
I hope that’s not too far gone.